A letter from Sally

Sally Rogers-DavidsonDear friends, 

You didn't ask, but here I am offering some advice on writing...

Find a quiet nest where you can concentrate and write, write, write! Stream of consciousness, crappy structure, anything that gets your ideas into print; don’t worry about grammar, spelling or structure in the first stage; all of these things are important, but editing is much easier than creating and can be done any time, even when you’re not feeling particularly creative. If you worry about all of the logistics and rules of writing you’ll never get past that blank screen! If you’ve got a plot in mind, that’s great, you’re ahead of the game, but sometimes you don’t even know what a story is about until you start writing it down.

You should probably hide your first one or two books away in a locked chest, never to be seen again. Hopefully your third, maybe second if you’re lucky, will be good enough to show a close friend.

You can tell if someone didn’t like your book by the tone of their voice and lack of detail in follow up. “I thought your book was really great!” This statement on its own means: “I read it, I don’t ever want to read it again, but I value our friendship too much to tell you the truth, so please, just leave it alone!” So you shouldn’t push it, if you value your friendship, just leave it alone! If someone really likes your book they will be happy to go into the details of scenes and characters they enjoyed – you’ll know they’re telling you the truth.

Finally… don’t become a writer because you want to be rich and famous. Chances are you will never make any serious money from it, even if your books do passably well. Do it because you love it and you’d still do it even it you had to give your books away for free just so people will read them and hopefully enjoy reading them as much as you enjoyed writing them.

Sincerely yours,


Last modified: Tuesday, 26 July 2016, 4:44 PM